Do You Have a Culture of Learning From Mistakes in Your Healthcare Organization?


As I'm trying to finish my book about learning from mistakes (“The Mistakes That Make Us“), I have examples from many different types of companies, including KaiNexus, that have a very strong and intentional culture of learning from mistakes.

These examples also include Toyota and two award-winning distilleries. And companies in other industries.

Do any of you working in healthcare have what you'd describe as a healthy culture of learning from mistakes?

I have some stories about what happens when you do NOT have that culture in healthcare. “Naming, blaming, and shaming” is still sadly the norm. This drives people to get better at hiding mistakes, which leads to more mistakes over time.

If you work in a different industry or setting, do you have a culture of mistakes in your organization?

Does your organization say, “Mistakes are OK, as long as we learn from them?”

Reacting constructively to mistakes doesn't mean people get to be reckless. Accepting and learning from small mistakes allows us to learn and prevent big catastrophes.

When you have high enough levels of Psychological Safety, that means it is generally safe for people to admit mistakes — so they can learn and improve, preventing future mistakes instead of looking backward just to blame and punish. Do you work in that type of setting?

I'd love to hear positive examples of a culture of learning from mistakes, for the sake of general discussion…

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